My partner is amazing. You might be sitting there thinking that your girlfriend/boyfriend is someone really special (and I’m sure they are) but mine is that extra 32 flavours of wonderful.
Their unfortunate choice of life partner, coupled with her unfortunate choice of life partner’s unfortunate choice of career (professional writer) ensures that there is always a lot of month left at the end of the money. As a result, she has been forced to make peace with the fact that their life is a bewildering succession of obscenely late nights and caffeine-fuelled odysseys into the dark side of the mind. Still, they take it all in her stride. When times are tough, they lets me rant about the unfairness of the world, resolutely throw all my toys out of the pram and vow to quit writing and get a ‘proper’ job before sitting back and waiting patiently for me to calm down. When times are really tough (as they presently are) she suggests that we go out for a bit of a walk.
Tonight, we were walking around the rain soaked streets of Southampton, UK and discussing the state of our lives. As usual, I was complaining like it was a bodily function and she was taking it all with good (if slightly weary) humour. As we walked, we passed an old music venue that I had spent many a happy University night in. I looked into the window, hoping to catch a glimpse of the younger, thinner self I’d once been, all bandannas, leathers and obscure band T-shirts. Instead, a new group of studs and leathers congregated inside, looking out at me as if I was some sort of interloper. In truth, I was, I’d been to that venue so often in my Uni days that I was on first name terms with the guy who booked the bands, but that was years ago. Since graduating Uni I’ve barely been able to go out and I haven’t bought a new CD in a couple of years.
“Hm. I wonder who’s playing tonight” I said casually to my partner as we noted the steady influx of dreads, chains and tattoos heading for the door. A rakishly thin guy in a leather jacket answered my question by naming a band I’d never heard of (which upset me, as there was a time I’d heard of every band on Earth). I replied with, “oh, cool. Thanks” and shambled away.
The last couple of years have seen me grow fatter, grumpier and sell out my lofty principles on more occasions than I care to remember. A few years ago, I’d have been in the front row of that crowd, making more noise than Lemmy catching his fingers in the freezer door. Now I’m the sort of person I used to take the piss out of back in those days.
If this story has a moral, it is that ‘things move on’. If you ever wondered how your Dad went from looking like Huggy Bear’s stylist (and getting more ass than a toilet seat in the process) to the doughy, uptight guy you know and love, well, you’ll soon find out. But don’t be in too great a hurry, trust me – in this case, ignorance truly is bliss.
Yes, things move on and the tablet PC market is one such thing. Once upon a time, a tablet with an 800MHz processor and 256MB of RAM would have had a chance. The average CPU was 1.2GHz and the average RAM was 1GB, even on the top-level models. The Tabtech M009s (you were wondering when I’d be getting around to it, weren’t you?) was once a respectable ‘budget’ tablet. It still is, as a matter of fact. But for how much longer?
The M009s has strong customer support, a cool £60 price tag and a good reputation for being reliable. However, time is not on the M009s’ side. This tablet is about to find itself suffering much the same fate that I have. Its dim screen was once an acceptable sacrifice in the light of the low price, but in the face of the new iPad and its much vaunted Retina display, it just looks crap. The CPU was once a decent budget model, but now there are dual-core 1.5GHz badasses powering cheap tablets, which makes the M009s look worse than a Hollywood CV that includes ‘Prince Of Persia’.
For now, however, the Tabtech M009s does offer value for money, but that window is shrinking and shrinking rapidly, just like my knowledge of today’s underground rock bands. Pretty soon, it will be unable to support the next generation of apps, programs and uses and then it will become little more than an expensive paperweight.
The saving grace here, then, is that the M009s is still popular, still useable and, above all, still cheap, which makes it a pretty solid use of £60. Just don’t expect to still be using it this time next year.
As for my girlfriend, as usual, she put things into perspective, politely reminded me that at least I’m doing what I love (although I have a funny way of showing it) and that things will get better for us, although probably not anytime soon. She lied and said that I’m not getting old, fat, grumpy or boring before reminding me that she had no idea who the band where either. Then we went home, had cheese-and-jalapeno hot dogs for dinner and watched ‘Red Dwarf’ for a bit.